Congress has delayed making a decision on whether federal employees will receive a pay increase for 2019, as general government appropriations were funded through a continuing resolution in lieu of a full spending package prior to the Oct. 1 fiscal year 2019 start date.
Though a conference between the House and Senate appropriations committees met Sept. 13 to discuss H.R. 6147 — which would have funded the Departments of Interior, Environment, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration, as well as Financial Services and General Government appropriations — the conference did not come to a final report to send to both houses of Congress.
Instead, those agencies will be funded at 2018 levels until the committees are able to come to an agreement on a complete appropriations bill.
The continuing resolution was passed as part of the minibus bill that fully funded the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Education and Labor, which was signed by President Donald Trump Sept. 28.
According to the bill, funding under the continuing resolution will be available to agencies until Dec. 7, 2018, or until Congress passes another appropriations bill.
President Trump said Aug. 30 that he intended to freeze federal pay for 2019, unless Congress takes specific action to raise that pay.
The Senate version of the general government appropriations bill included a provision to raise federal pay by 1.9 percent for the coming year, while the House version of that bill made no mention of a federal pay alteration.
The general government appropriations bill would also be the legislative avenue for additional funding for the Technology Modernization Fund, which was offered an additional $150 million in the House legislation and no additional funding in the Senate version.
Deliberations on a final general government bill will also determine the future of $2 million in proposed appropriations for the modernization of oversight.gov, a site that compiles the reports and findings of all Inspectors General offices across the federal government.
Jessie Bur covered the federal workforce and the changes most likely to impact government employees for Federal Times.